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Places LA: A Few Minutes by the Los Angeles River [Video]

December 22nd, 2015 Comments off

Places LA: Few Minutes by the Los Angeles River

 

As a part of a friend’s project to walk the entire Los Angeles River, we joined some friends to walk the segment from Warner Bros Studio, past the Disney Studio, through the LA Equestrian Center and ending at Bette Davis Park at Victory Blvd in Burbank.

Find out more about this project on Animalbytes

See some photos from this walk in my Flickr Photostream

Places LA: Few Minutes by the Los Angeles River [Video]

Music: “Carefree” by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com) under Creative Commons License

Here is the complete list of birds we saw on the walk.

American Wigeon (Anas americana) 11 three pairs plus individuals
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 6 three pairs
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) 1 on the river among other ducks
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) 2 Watched heron catch a 7-8 inch catfish. It also appeared to be a non-native fish species.
Great Egret (Ardea alba) 2 Watched one catch a 6 inch catfish out of the river. It did not appear to be a native fish species.
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) 3
American Coot (Fulica americana) 22 group together in middle of the river
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) 70 feeding in large groups
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) 1
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) 1
Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla) 67 feeding together in loose groups along shallow edges of the river
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) 1
California Gull (Larus californicus) 3
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon)) 33 on wires over Equestrian Center
Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) 22 sitting in snag tree
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna) 2
Allen’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) 1
Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) 1 perched on fence overlooking river
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) 7 in Bette Davis Park
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) 1
Red-crowned Parrot (Amazona viridigenalis) 8 appeared to be in pairs, sitting in the tops of sycamore trees in Bette Davis Park
Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans) 7 each in separate territories
Western Scrub-Jay (Coastal) (Aphelocoma californica [californica Group]) 2
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) 2
Common Raven (Corvus corax) 2
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) 5
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 5
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) (Setophaga coronata auduboni) 7 abundant in trees along the river
Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus) 3 in shrubs along the river
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) 6 feeding with lesser goldfinches in non-native shrubs
California Towhee (Melozone crissalis) 3
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) 32 feeding in grassy areas and shrubs along the river
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 11 feeding in non-native trees
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 3 at Equestrian Center

View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S26399324

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org)

Christmas Zen: Sleigh Ride from the BBC [Video Clip]

December 22nd, 2015 Comments off

An amazing idea, and similar to past “Slow TV” programming. You can enjoy a 3 min preview of the experience in the YouTube video below.

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In a Slow TV Christmas special, BBC Four rigs a traditional reindeer sleigh with a fixed camera for a magical journey across the frozen wilderness of the Arctic. Following the path of an ancient postal route, the ride captures the traditional world of the Sami people who are indigenous to northern Scandinavia and for whom reindeer herding remains a way of life.

Filmed in Karasjok, Norway – 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle – this journey takes us through breathtaking scenery not normally glimpsed by anyone other than the Sami. Deliberately unhurried, the rhythmic pace of the reindeer guides us along an epic two-hour trip that takes us over undulating snowy hills, through birch forests, across a frozen lake and past traditional Sami settlements.

Facts about the reindeer, natural history, Sami culture and the Arctic climate are delivered by graphics and archive stills embedded into the passing landscape. With no commentary, music or presenter – just the crunching of snow and the soft tinkle of a reindeer bell – this hypnotic sleigh ride is an enchanting experience to put everyone in the Christmas spirit.

BBC Web Site

 

Walking the Los Angeles River – Winnetka to Tampa – November 2, 2015

November 2nd, 2015 Comments off

Our friend, Keri from Animalbytes.net has started a project to walk and document the entire Los Angeles Rover, from its headwaters in Bell Canyon here in the San Fernando Valley to the sea in Long Beach. Today, we joined her for a short segment of the river from Winnetka Ave to Tampa Avenue. Here are a few photos and thoughts from our walk. we plan on joining Keri for additional sections of the river as time allows,including her walk through one of the wisest stretches of the river as it passes through the Sepulveda Basin.

Read Keri’s Post on our walk and see her photos in her blog, Animalbytes

This section of the river has an improved bike and walking path including solar lighting, benches, drinking fountains and botanical landscaping.

LA River Walk - Winnetka to Tampa - November 2, 2015

While Southern California plants are pretty much in dormancy this time of year, especially due to our long running drought, we found a few blooms along our walk.

LA River Walk - Winnetka to Tampa - November 2, 2015

LA River Walk - Winnetka to Tampa - November 2, 2015

LA River Walk - Winnetka to Tampa - November 2, 2015

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We also spotted some wildlife along the river, including sandpipers, killdeer, hummingbirds, pigeons and these crows bathing in the small amount of water in the river at the moment.

LA River Walk - Winnetka to Tampa - November 2, 2015

Signage at the Tampa Avenue entrance to the river walkway.

LA River Walk - Winnetka to Tampa - November 2, 2015

LA River Walk - Winnetka to Tampa - November 2, 2015

Watch a slide show of the photos from Walking the Los Angeles River – Winnetka to Tampa – November 2, 2015

 

California Wildfire Information 2015 – A collection of resources for the 2015 fire season and beyond

September 14th, 2015 Comments off

(All links confirmed as working – September 14, 2015)

As is common, we are in a drought again, here in California, and this makes the occurrence of wildfire more likely and also increases the damage that wildfires can do in the landscape and in populated areas. In an effort to stay in touch with the wildfire situation here in California, I have collected a set of resources to keep me informed when fires break out. While I live in the middle of the San Fernando Valley and fairly free from the direct danger of wildfire, fires in the surrounding areas can cause large problems with evacuations, smoke plumes and ash and also directly effect friends and family who live in or near wild lands.


 Cal fire banner

CAL FIRE is a State agency responsible for protecting natural resources from fire on land designated by the State Board of Forestry as State Responsibility Area (SRA). CAL FIRE also manages the State Forest system and has responsibility to enforce the forest practice regulations, which govern forestry practices on private and other non-federal lands. Two major themes are attendant to the CAL FIRE mission. One is the protection of the State’s merchantable timber on all non-federal lands from improper logging activities and the other is the protection of the State’s grass, brush, and tree covered watersheds in SRA from wildland fire. CAL FIRE is a “conservation agency” with origins stemming from the “Conservation Movement” of the last century.”

Cal Fire provides a number of online resources:

Cal Fire Incident Google Map with perimeters


Inciweb Wildfire Information

“InciWeb is an interagency all-risk incident information management system. The system was developed with two primary missions:

Provide the public a single source of incident related information
Provide a standardized reporting tool for the Public Affairs community
A number of supporting systems automate the delivery of incident information to remote sources. This ensures that the information regarding active incidents is consistent, and the delivery is timely.”

InciWeb Resources:


Enplan wildfire viewer

Enplan Wildfire Viewer

“ENPLAN provides environmental planning and geospatial information services and products to both public and private sectors. We have served over 500 clients since we began in 1980. Throughout our existence, we have remained absolutely committed to leading-edge quality and innovation in the solutions we deliver.”

Enplan Wildfire Viewer Resources:


ESRI Integrated Fire Information Map

ESRI Integrated Fire Information Map

Resources include:

  • Fire Locations
  • Filtered Tweets 
  • Wildfire Perimeters
  • Fire-Related Weather Watches and Warnings

In the Garden: Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) from September 11 & 12, 2015 [Video]

September 13th, 2015 Comments off

From A Gardener’s Notebook with Douglas E. Welch

In the Garden: Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) from September 11 & 12, 2015 [Video]

 

A regular visitor to the garden, this Cooper’s Hawk appeared on both September 11 and 12, 2015. Two clips as the hawk sis, drinks and bathes in the birdbath.

From Wikipedia…

Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii) is a medium-sized hawk native to the North American continent and found from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico. As in many birds of prey, the male is smaller than the female. The birds found east of the Mississippi River tend to be larger on average than the birds found to the west.

Cooper’s hawk was first described by French naturalist Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1828. It is a member of the goshawk genus Accipiter. This bird was named after the naturalist William Cooper, one of the founders of the New York Lyceum of Natural History (later the New York Academy of Sciences) in New York. Other common names; big blue darter, chicken hawk, hen hawk, Mexican hawk, quail hawk, striker and swift hawk.[2] — Wikipedia

 

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Mexican Bird-of-Paradise - A Minute in the Garden 25 from A Gardener's Notebook products


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Mexican Bird-of-Paradise – A Minute in the Garden 25 from A Gardener’s Notebook [Video]

August 26th, 2015 Comments off

From A Gardener’s Notebook…

A Minute in the Garden: A series from A Gardener’s Notebook

The next in a series of garden minutes

 

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Mexican Bird-of-Paradise - A Minute in the Garden 25 from A Gardener's Notebook products


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High-Touch Beauty for Your High-Tech – also toes, mugs, cards and more in 75+ designs via Instagram [Photo]

August 13th, 2015 Comments off

Bee on Lavender in Slow Motion – Seeing Differently #9 from A Gardener’s Notebook [Video]

August 12th, 2015 Comments off

Seeing Differently: A series from A Gardener’s Notebook

The next in a series of slow-motion and time-lapse videos.

 

See all the videos in “Seeing Differently” series in this YouTube playlist 

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Spur of the Moment Periscope Live Stream from A Gardener’s Notebook (23 mins) [Video]

August 11th, 2015 Comments off

Spur of the Moment Periscope Live Stream from A Gardener’s Notebook (23 mins)

In this episode:

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Succulent in the sun 2 via Instagram [Photo]

August 7th, 2015 Comments off
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